The Catering Academy opened its doors again, albeit virtually, in September 2020.
During lockdown several staff had bravely taken up the gauntlet and hosted several cooking sessions and I took over hosting these when I returned to work.
The first session involved making cookies and presented several challenges. Conveying measurements via a screen is not as easy as it sounds. Its amazing the amount of variations you get when asking for a cup of butter. The bakers soldiered on and at the end all managed to produce a batch of cookies which were immediately devoured.
After this session I decided to simplify things and booked us in to make a simple two ingredient coconut macaroon. How many things can go wrong with just two ingredients I thought. For those who wish to know, the answer is two. Despite this mishap and another successful bake under our belts it was time for a rethink.
What was the idea behind the cooking zoom?
What was the main reason behind its introduction to the zoom rota?
It was started to maintain the contact with the people who used to come up to the farm as a form of outreach. To remind them they are missed and dearly loved by all the staff on site and as a source of fun. And if by chance they end up with something they can eat, that's a bonus!
The last couple of sessions we have gone savoury - making chicken korma and cauliflower rice and spaghetti bolognaise. It was really great to see them all get involved, some with family members, and then sit down afterwards and eat their own creations... One young lady whilst making the chicken korma told us she wasn’t going to eat it as she didn't like curry but her friend did, so she was making it for her.
Sharing these sessions has been great for myself but to see them take pride in what they have achieved , share pictures of it with others and also have a laugh whilst doing it is the main reason we do these sessions and I would value your prayers for future cooking zooms.